Houston Astros Minors: Lancaster Pushes for Postseason


The Houston Astros Minor League affiliate in Lancaster has been hot of late.  The JetHawks have won 7 of their last eight games, showing grit and determination in trying to make the playoffs.  Coming into Tuesday night, they had leapfrogged Rancho Cucamonga (LAD) but still remain 4 games back of the High Desert Mavericks (TEX) and the final wild card spot with just 6 games to go in the season.  Whether they make the playoffs or not, they will have learned a lot about playing under pressure.

Alex Bregman has continued to excel at high-A, hitting safely in his last ten games and driving in 10 during that same span.  His average with the JetHawks is now .318.  He’s a slam dunk to start 2016 at double-A Corpus Christi with an eye on the majors later that year.

Outfielder Derek Fisher is 12 for his last 34, raising his average to .263 with Lancaster.  Of course, this talented youngster is highly touted for his combination of speed and power and ability to get on base.  He now has a .354 OBP since joining the JetHawks.

Monday marked the return of J.D. Davis to the lineup.  The slugging third baseman went 0-4 with two walks after being activated from the seven-day disabled list.  Like Bregman, and Fisher, you can expect to see him in Corpus at the beginning of 2016.

Francis Martes as a River Bandit – Photo by Rich Guill

The power big man of late for Lancaster has been Chase McDonald.  He’s 6’4″ 265 pounds and likes to hit home runs.  Four more over his last ten games gives him a whopping 27 on the year to go along with 73 r.b.i in 94 games.  His progression through the system will hinge on the fate of former JetHawk A.J. Reed, who now mans first base at Double-A.

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Reed also made news at high-A this week despite not having played there in 6 weeks.  After only playing 82 games for the JetHawks, A.J. Reed was named the California League MVP for 2015.  The man led every offensive category at the time of his promotion to double-A on July 12th including home runs, r.bi., batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, walks and OPS.  This is just another trophy for the mantle for the former Golden Spikes Award winner as he slugs his way towards an inevitable Major League career.

Finally, we did have a promotion from Lancaster this week.  Right-handed phenom Francis Martes turned heads in his short stint at high-A with an eye-popping 2.31 ERA in the hitter’s paradise known as the California League.  Still just 19 years old, the young stud will get a chance to show his wares in double-A before the season ends.

Next: Keeping up with the Astros Prospects: ss Alex Bregman (Interview)